Anti hair loss products: which active ingredients work? in which case ?

Anti hair loss products: which active ingredients work?  in which case ?

What are the best active ingredients to fight against hair loss?


It is the most studied, tested against placebo with thousands of men and women and, without question, the most efficient even if it’s not perfect. It also has drug status, dispensed without a prescription and no refunded.

His anti-hair loss effect is indisputable :“It reduces the number of hairs at the end of life, in the telogen phase, and stimulates growth healthy new hair,” explains Dr. Philippe Assouly, dermatologist specializing in scalp and hair pathologies. It also increases the average hair diameter. Thus, 70 to 80% of users have seen their hair loss normalize, stop or greatly slow down. Satisfactory regrowth is observed in approximately 30% of users.

Vitamin B8, also called biotin

In stimulating the production of keratin (component of hair), vitamin B has an interest in maintaining healthy hair. The European health authorities (EFSA) have confirmed its effectiveness if, and only if, the hair supplementscontain at least 7.5 micrograms per 100 g or 100 ml.

And the others ?

In contrast, all other active ingredients or plants have not proven their effectiveness in hair loss. “No serious doctor could advise their use. Everyone looks at them as nice placebos,” comments Dr. Assouly.

Indeed, due to certain factors such as change of season, in the fall and spring, after a hormonal imbalance or a high fever, it is common to lose your hair. “This type of fall is transient. The best solution is to be patient, because everything goes back to normal after three months in general. »

Is it a solution for all causes of falls?

No, minoxidil is effective only on so-called androgenic hair loss, under the influence of our genetic heritage and our sensitivity to male hormones (androgens), which are the most frequent. It is not not efficient on alopecia areata, falls linked to iron deficiency, thyroid disorders or even caused by a infection (mushroom).

In these situations, it will absolutely be necessary to treat the infection, to use other drugs or to consider camouflage solutions, even a hair transplant.

Oral route or local application?

In France, minoxidil is only available as a lotion. This is a topical treatment, to be applied twice a day on the bald areas, using the concentrated solution at 5% for men and 2% for women, and lightly massaging the scalp. At first, during the first 4 to 6 weeks of treatment, hair at the end of its life cycle will fall suddenly, but don’t panic, this is part of the process triggered by minoxidil to activate hair growth. On the other hand, if the loss lasts longer, this is not normal, it is better to stop using it and talk to your dermatologist about it. As for vitamin B8, it is found in the form of food supplements to be taken orally. The absorption of the product will then be good.

What is the ideal setting time?

“Minoxidil is a suspensive treatment”, recognizes the dermatologist specializing in pathologies of the scalp and hair. In other words, its action stops when you stop applying it, which means that you have to maintain it for a long time. Overall, an anti-hair loss or growth stimulating product should last at least four to six months then continue as long as necessary to see the benefits.

In how long of treatment are the results visible?

The results of anti-hair loss products are visible from three to four months of treatment. After six months to a year of treatment with minoxidil, hair loss is largely reduced in one out of three patients. New hair growth is visible.

Are there any precautions to take with this anti-hair loss treatment?

Anti-hair loss products based on minoxidil dosed at 2% are indicated for men and women. In contrast, 5% formulas considered high-dose are reserved for men because in women, there is then a non-negligible risk (+37%) ofhypertrichosis, namely the development of invasive hair in other parts of the body, especially in the armpits and pubis. Minoxidil medications are strictly reserved for adults. “Its side effects can also manifest as local irritation,” adds Dr. Assouly. This is the reason why these products against hair loss are not recommended in case of seborrheic dermatitis.

Anti-hair loss shampoo: is it effective? The expert’s opinion

Not really. More than the shampoo itself, it is rather the action of massaging, and therefore of stimulating the hair follicles, which seems to have an action on the health of the hair. ” A shampoo cannot have an anti-hair loss effect, says Dr. Assouly. However, it can give more volume to the hair. »

In women: in the case of androgenic alopecia, the doctor may prescribe spironolactone, a diuretic substance. This drug acts on the androgen hormones responsible for hair loss, but it has not received authorization to be marketed in this indication. It is not reimbursed. On the other hand, certain birth control pillsthanks to the female hormones they provide, limit hair loss. Specifically, pills made up of norgestimate or desogestrel have a antiandrogenic effect which keeps the hair healthy.

In humans: the finasteride is a drug whoseanti-hair loss effectiveness is proven. To be taken as a 1 mg tablet per day, it acts on male hormones. Its results are visible from three to six months in 80% of cases, provided you follow your treatment rigorously. Delivered on prescription, not reimbursed, this medicine must be the subject of a followed by a doctor in order to assess the progress of the treatment, and any side effects. They are rare, but described: low libido, erectile dysfunction and depression.

Good to know: buns and ponytails that are too tight exert excessive traction on the hair which can cause hair loss.

Our selection of safe products against hair loss in pharmacies

  • For the woman : Minoxidil 2% Lab. Bailleul. Its particularities: practical, sound pump bottle which facilitates application. His price ? About €32, the box of 3 bottles of 60 ml, for 3 months of treatment.
  • For the man : Minoxidil 5% Lab. Sandoz. Its particularities: we like its spraying system. His price ? About €35, the box of 3 bottles of 60 ml, for 3 months of treatment.
  • Well dosed in vitamin B8 (biotin) : BIOTIN Lab. Bayer. Its particularities: 5 mg of vitamin B8 per tablet. Take at least 2 tablets daily. His price ? Around €38 for a box of 60 tablets.
  • the complete anti-hair loss treatment : Normalitis Appendages Lab. Codifra. Its particularities: biotin, combined with zinc and selenium for healthy hair. Take 2 capsules daily for at least 3 months. His price ? Around €17 for a box of 60 capsules, each containing 50 micrograms of biotin.

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